With a win tonight, the Spearville Royal Lancers boys basketball team team could move to 5-1.
That won’t be easy, however, as the team hosts the undefeated South Gray Rebels, who are 5-0.
The Lancers are having a good season so far. At 4-1, the their only loss is against the Macksville Mustangs. The team’s victories have come against Ashland, Ellinwood, Kiowa County and Fowler.
One of the keys to the Lancers’ start has been the strong play of junior Kolby Stein, who head coach Chris Sohm said is one of the most talented players in the league.
“He’s a very talented and gifted player,” Sohm said.
Despite the strong start, Sohm said the team still has things to clean up.
“We’ve played well at times and at other times, the two biggest things that are holding us back right now are our lack of rebounding and we turnover the ball too many times,” Sohm said.
The rebounding issue is something Sohm said he hopes will improve as senior Nathan Heeke gets increasing minutes, specifically because of both the size and experience Heeke adds to the lineup. The team also is working on the turnover issue.
“Turnovers is just something that we as a group overall just have to clean up,” Sohm said. “It’s something that we’re trying to overcome on a daily basis in practice.”
Their opponents tonight, the Rebels, have victories this season that include winning Cimarron Invitational last week after a 65-33 win over Cimarron.
“Right now coach Applegate and his guys are playing really really well, and that’s a surprise to nobody,” Sohm said.
Among the stronges performers for the Rebels is 6-foot-6 inch senior Gilbert Peters.
“(Peters) presents a physical challenge that you just don’t see every night in 1A or 2A basketball,” Sohm said.
He’s the type of player the team can try and limit, Sohm said, but is talented enough that opposing coaches know he’s going to score. Shutting him down outright isn’t realistic.
“Hopefully we can make him earn more of the points than just give him layups and rebounds,” Sohm said.
Rebounding will be among Sohm’s keys to the game. He won’t talk to the team about offense, he said.
“If we do a great job playing defense and we’ll go box out and rebound and stay even with South Gray or even beat them on the boards, than I think we have a chance to maybe put a scare into those guys," Sohm said.
The boys game is scheduled to take place after the girls game which starts at 6:30 p.m.